When It Comes to Resource Planning, Timing is Everything

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Brightline (a PMI-led coalition of leading global organizations dedicated to helping executives bridge the gaps between strategy and execution) released an excellent infographic, developed by the Technical Institute of Denmark, called "Timing is Money." 

The infographic looks at four dilemmas that represent the four dynamic tensions that relate to timing when implementing strategy, particularly:

  • The Horizon Dilemma (near horizon vs. distant future)

  • The Urgency Dilemma (implementing quickly vs. moving too fast for your organization)

  • The Process Dilemma (tightly defined strategy vs. business agility)

  • The Rhythm Dilemma (natural work rhythms vs. getting everyone in sync when needed) 

Having written a book on common leadership dilemmas (Managing the Gray Areas), this approach is near and dear to my heart. Not surprisingly, for each dilemma, the infographic offers practical solutions that balance both sides of the equation.

I was particularly pleased that, for the Rhythm Dilemma, the recommended solution was to "dedicate and mobilize the right resources" and embrace new leadership rhythms that allow for syncing the disparate rhythms across the organization. 

This, of course, requires effective resource planning, which itself ties back to the other three dilemmas. For instance, the Horizon Dilemma applies, because you need to strike a balance between short term named resource planning and longer term skills planning. 

Regarding the Urgency Dilemma, having a clear picture of demand vs. capacity will let you know if you're taxing the organization beyond its ability to immediately take on something new. It also gives you the data to make informed tradeoff decisions.

Lastly, the Process Dilemma, which aims to balance strategy and agility, requires that resource forecasts show all types of work (Agile and otherwise) and depict how effort is being consumed across the overall prioritized backlog of the organization. This, in effect, helps tie effort utilization back to strategy, while also allowing for the change that business agility necessitates. 

Check out the infographic. Not only does it serve as a compass for bridging strategy and execution, it also serves as an excellent foundation for resource planning.


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Jerry Manas is the bestselling author of The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook, Napoleon on Project Management, and more. At PDWare, Jerry helps clients improve strategy execution through tools and processes that align people and work with organizational priorities. Connect with Jerry on Twitter and LinkedIn.